How is the User-Centered Design Concept Important in Custom EHR Software?

META-5-1024x538 How is the User-Centered Design Concept Important in Custom EHR Software?

According to Microsoft, frustrated users are 13 times more likely to tell 15 or more people about their bad experience with the software product. And these statistics naturally cover consumers of health tech products as well.

But there’s good news! The healthcare landscape is shifting towards custom EHR software development, offering a beacon of hope for both clinicians and patients.

While the advantages of custom EHR software are manifold, from increased interoperability to streamlined workflows, there is a critical factor that stands as the linchpin to the success of these systems – User-Centered Design (UCD).

In this blog, we delve into the pivotal role of UCD in the development of custom EHR software, exploring how this approach ensures a seamless and intuitive experience for both clinicians and patients alike.

Let’s dive in!

Why User-Centered EHR Software is Crucial?

EHR usability is “the effectiveness, efficiency, satisfaction with which specific users can achieve a specific set of tasks in a particular environment,” quoted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The usability of the EHR software significantly influences healthcare providers’ ability to provide quality care. It’s not just about ticking boxes: it’s about ensuring that the software aligns with specific workflows and enhances overall efficiency. Medical UX developers need to understand the intricacies of our daily tasks to create a system that truly supports specific specialties.

A study by the American Medical Informatics Association found that 77% of clinicians believe UCD is essential for EHR usability and satisfaction.

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Core Principles of UCD in Custom EHR Software:

Core-Principles-of-UCD-in-Custom-EHR-Software-1024x576 How is the User-Centered Design Concept Important in Custom EHR Software?

Applying UCD principles to custom EHR software involves creating a system that prioritizes usability, efficiency, and user satisfaction for healthcare professionals.

Here are some core principles of UCD in custom EHR software:-

1. Empathy:

One core principle that stands out in UCD is empathy. It’s all about putting ourselves in the shoes of healthcare professionals and patients. It involves gaining deep insights into their daily routines, the challenges they face, and their expectations from the software.

2. Usability:

Users, especially healthcare professionals, need to navigate effortlessly, so they can quickly access patient information and other relevant data. The interface should be designed in a way that users can easily understand and process information without feeling overwhelmed. This involves using clear and concise language, logical organization of data, and avoiding unnecessary complexities.

Following standards such as ISO 9241-210:2010 assist in human-centred design for interactive systems. It offers requirements and recommendations to follow a human centred design process for computer-based interactive systems.

3. Accessibility:

Accessibility in the context of UCD in custom EHR, is all about making sure the software is usable by individuals with diverse abilities and needs. The software should be designed to cater to users with varying degrees of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. This means following WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standards, which provide guidelines for making web content accessible to people with a wide range of disabilities.

For instance, incorporating features like voice recognition, screen readers, and keyboard shortcuts can make a significant difference. 

In addition to that, icons, buttons, and navigation should be designed in a way that’s easy to understand for all users. This is particularly important for healthcare professionals who may be dealing with high-stress situations and need a seamless interface to provide the best patient care.

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4. Customization:

In the world of healthcare, one size definitely does not fit all. UCD emphasizes tailoring EHR software to specific workflows and preferences of different healthcare settings. Customization involves adapting the software to meet the unique needs and processes of healthcare providers. For instance, a hospital’s workflow may differ significantly from that of a private clinic. UCD ensures that the EHR software can be configured to seamlessly integrate with existing processes, making it a valuable asset rather than a hindrance.

5. Iterative Development:

Continuous feedback is vital. Involve users throughout the development process through testing, surveys, and interviews. Use their feedback to iterate and improve the software based on real-world usage.

Benefits of user-centered EHR software design

Benefits-of-user-centered-EHR-software-design-1024x576 How is the User-Centered Design Concept Important in Custom EHR Software?

User-centered healthcare solutions benefit all parties associated with it. Below are just a few advantages:-

1. Improved User Experience

User-centered EHR software design prioritizes intuitive interfaces and streamlined workflows, making it easier for healthcare professionals to navigate complex systems. With features designed based on user feedback and real-world scenarios, medical practitioners can spend less time grappling with the software and more time focusing on patient care.

2. Enhanced Efficiency and Productivity

Time is of the essence in healthcare, and user-centered design ensures that EHR systems are optimized for efficiency. By minimizing unnecessary clicks, reducing data entry burdens, and tailoring interfaces to match clinical workflows, medical professionals can complete tasks more quickly and accurately. This leads to improved productivity and allows clinicians to dedicate more time to patient interaction and care.

3. Increased Patient Engagement

User-centered EHR design extends its benefits beyond the healthcare provider to the patient. By creating interfaces that are accessible and easy to understand, patients are more likely to engage with their health records. This transparency fosters a collaborative relationship between patients and healthcare providers, empowering individuals to actively participate in their healthcare journey.

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4. Enhanced Data Accuracy and Quality

Accurate and up-to-date information is crucial for effective healthcare delivery. User-centered design addresses the challenges associated with data entry errors by implementing features that promote accuracy. Intuitive input methods, decision support prompts, and data validation mechanisms all contribute to maintaining the integrity of patient data, ensuring that healthcare professionals make informed decisions based on reliable information.

5. Reduced User Fatigue and Burnout

The demands on healthcare professionals are immense and poorly designed EHR systems can contribute to burnout. User-centered design aims to alleviate this burden by creating interfaces that are ergonomic, intuitive, and cognizant of the mental and physical well-being of users. This, in turn, helps prevent user fatigue and contributes to the overall satisfaction of healthcare professionals.

Key Considerations for Implementing UCD:

Key-Considerations-for-Implementing-UCD-2-1024x576 How is the User-Centered Design Concept Important in Custom EHR Software?

Building a EHR solution that leads to all above-mentioned benefits isn’t impossible. We have gathered some of the most helpful tips and best practices on creating a EHR solutions that really works.

1. Stakeholders collaboration:

Engage healthcare professionals and patients in the EHR design process to understand their unique needs and challenges. Collaboration among designers, healthcare software developers, clinicians, and patients is fostered to ensure a holistic perspective.

2. User Research and Persona Development:

Conduct thorough user research to identify workflows, pain points, and preferences. Develop user personas that represent the diverse range of medical professionals and patients who will interact with the EHR software.

3. Intuitive Navigation and Interface:

Design an intuitive and user-friendly interface for seamless navigation. Prioritize accessibility features to accommodate users with varying levels of technological expertise.

4. Customization Options:

Provide customization options for users to tailor the EHR system to their specific roles and preferences. Allow for personalized dashboards and settings to enhance efficiency and user satisfaction.

5. Feedback Loops and Iterative Design:

Establish continuous feedback loops with end-users throughout the development process. Implement an iterative design approach to incorporate user feedback, ensuring constant improvement.

6. Usability Testing:

Conduct rigorous usability testing with real users to identify and rectify any usability issues. Test the software in diverse healthcare settings to ensure its effectiveness in various scenarios.

7. Continuous Improvement and Updates:

Commit to ongoing software updates based on evolving user needs and technological advancements. Stay abreast of industry trends to incorporate relevant features and technologies for enhanced functionality.

Create User-Centered EHR solutions with Thinkitive

We at Thinkitive being the best healthcare software development company, pioneer user-centered custom EHR software solution, leveraging 9+ years of expertise. Through rigorous analysis of user needs, seamless integration of cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to user-friendly interfaces, we ensure EHR solutions are intuitive, efficient, and tailored to healthcare professionals’ workflows. Our unwavering dedication to user-centric design sets us apart, delivering EHR solutions that not only meet but exceed clients’ expectations, elevating healthcare delivery to new heights.


In conclusion, adopting a user-centric approach in healthcare software development, particularly in the sphere of custom EHR solutions, is indispensable. The blog underscores the critical impact of user-centered design on clinician adoption, patient engagement, and overall healthcare efficiency. The outlined benefits and best practices, coupled with insights into challenges and a guide on human-centered design, emphasize the significance of creating intuitive, efficient, and adaptable EHR systems.

Thinkitive’s commitment to user-centric design and prioritizing the needs and preferences of healthcare professionals and patients is not just a best practice but a cornerstone for delivering exceptional and transformative healthcare solutions. Let us know your unique user-centric EHR requirements, and we will build

Contact us to create a robust user-centered design for EHR software with on-time delivery.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I implement UCD in my custom EHR project?

For user-centered design (UCD) in a custom electronic health record (EHR) project, end-users are involved throughout the development, their needs are prioritized, a usability test is conducted, and the interface is iteratively refined for optimal user experience.

2. What are some best practices for conducting user research for custom EHRs?

The best practices for conducting user research for custom EHRs:-

  • Define clear research goals.
  • Identify diverse user personas.
  • Conduct contextual inquiries for workflow insights.
  • Use a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods.
  • Ensure participant confidentiality and privacy.
  • Validate findings with stakeholders.
  • Iterate based on feedback.
  • Prioritize user needs for EHR customization.
  • Consider accessibility and usability standards.
  • Document and share insights for informed decision-making.
3. How do I ensure my new EHR system is accessible to all users?

To ensure accessibility in your new EHR system, prioritize universal design principles, conduct thorough accessibility testing, adhere to accessibility standards (e.g., WCAG), provide training, and regularly update the system based on user feedback for continuous improvement.

4. What are the key features of an EHR system designed with UCD principles?

The key features of an EHR system designed with UCD principles:-

  • User-Centered Design (UCD) principles prioritize end-user needs.
  • Intuitive interface for easy navigation
  • Customizable to individual workflows
  • Inclusive design for diverse user abilities
  • Seamless integration with existing systems
  • Efficient data input and retrieval
  • Robust security measures
  • Regular user feedback loops for continuous improvement
5. How can I find a technology partner with experience in UCD for healthcare software?

Explore professional networks, attend industry events, and leverage online platforms like LinkedIn. Look for technology partners with a proven track record in User-Centered Design (UCD), specifically within the healthcare software domain.

We at Thinkitive, with our extensive experience in user-centered design (UCD) for healthcare software, ensure intuitive interfaces and efficient workflows, enhance user experience, and optimize software functionality, ultimately leading to improved healthcare outcomes.

6. What type of training and support should I expect with a custom EHR implementation?

Expect comprehensive training for users, including clinicians and administrators, tailored to the custom EHR system. Continuous support during and post-implementation ensures a smooth transition, troubleshooting, and updates for optimal functionality and user satisfaction.

7. How can I measure the success of UCD in my custom EHR project?

Measure UCD success in your custom EHR project by evaluating user satisfaction, task efficiency, error rates, and system usability. Conduct user testing, gather feedback, and iterate based on user input.

Ganesh Varahade

Founder & CEO of Thinkitive Technologies.

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